Monday, October 12, 2015
Author Interview: David Garrett
Natasha: Tell me about yourself. How long have you been writing? When you are not writing, how do you like to spend your spare time?
David: My name is David Maurice Garrett and I was born in Birmingham, Alabama. I am what Grady Towers calls an “Outsider” – a gifted person with too many interests and not enough focus on any one. I’m not saying this to brag because it actually is a problem. I gravitate to too many things and grow bored with them easily once my furious energy has been spent. I play music, compose music, write stories, write essays, draw, design, and read – I mean, I read a lot. In all of these interests, I’ve always gravitated to the dark and the weird. At an early age I began reading Poe and was spellbound by his writing. That gave way to Lovecraft and after reading his works, I decided I wanted to write short horror stories. So, for the past about 30 years I’ve written short stories off and on, but I always return to writing horror. It’s one of the hobbies I always return to. When I’m not writing or creating through one of my other outlets, I’m either working or spending time with my family. I’m in the military and I have a wife and six kids. I joined the military for the travel opportunities and the fact that I can serve 20 years, retire, and then have the rest of my life to write, compose, and draw.
Natasha: Tell us a little about your upcoming project.
David: Right now I’m working on a novel inspired by Robert W. Chambers’ “The King in Yellow”. I think what Roberts did with this work was vastly ahead of its time. “The King in Yellow” is supposedly a play that drives anyone who reads it mad. It is a common link throughout the work.
Each “chapter” of the novel is really a stand-alone short story but is also a part of the overall novel sharing a part of the story arc of the play. And let me tell you, each story in TKiY is weird. At the same time I was also inspired by the art movement of Impressionism and was thinking how that technique of using symbols and snatches of other forms of writing could be used to create an Impressionistic story. Bram Stoker’s novel “Dracula” is sort of on this track in that it is what is called an epistolary novel which uses documents, diaries, journals, newspaper clippings, etc. to tell the story.
But, I thought I would take it to another level by including poetry, song lyrics, conversations, or just whatever piece of language helps to create the atmosphere of a weird tale or horror story. As to what I’m writing, it all revolves around madness. I’ve always been fascinated with creative individuals and the ones who walk the line between insanity and genius – Nietzsche, Schumann, Van Gogh, Jim Morrison, Poe, just to name a few. I also have a Master’s Degree in Psychology so it’s very natural to bring all of that into my writing. Just as TKiY has every chapter acting as a stand-alone short story,
I’ve created stories within stories and the entire novel has a common story arc of the underlying force or entity within a particular insane asylum that is creating and guiding the madness, almost like a conductor, to a strange and grotesque crescendo of insanity. It’s really been fun to write and that’s what I think is lacking in many authors these days. They feel writing is formulaic where success is concerned and that it’s a chore to write. I want to push the art of writing in a new direction and say screw the rules and formulas. I want to figure out neat and fun ways to convey the story that readers find intriguing and new.
Natasha: Do you have any advice for other writers trying to get published?
David: You know, I’m not in the best place to say. I don’t think horror – and especially strictly short horror – is the most lucrative or popular forms of literature. It really has a cult-like, underground following. Furthermore, I don’t see many writers of horror viewing themselves as artists in the respect of pushing the art form to new areas. Everyone seems more concerned on learning the formulas of writing success rather than creating something new. I don’t really care for following a path to publishing by compromising my vision. Hell, no one may read my work, but people would be fascinated by it if they would just check it out. I tend to really spend a lot of time on making my work both psychological and intellectual. I like multiple layers of meaning and multiple layers of interpretation. I don’t see many authors focusing on that type of thing, either. It’s seems easier to write a formulaic, blood-and-guts horror story but how interesting is that story really? Who will actually return to it and find new and different things in it? How will it stand the test of time?
Natasha: What is the best way for readers to reach you?
My blog: Visions of the Dark